Let’s address a few scenarios concerning teen drivers I’ve seen recently that makes me shake my head.  These are some examples of how some agents handle managing YOUR risks, which in turn is your checkbook and assets.

 

    1. Not adding your new driver to your policy.

 

If you call in to add your new 16-year-old driver and feel that it’s too expensive or told you don’t have to, please remember getting creative could be extremely costly in the end if there’s a large accident / claim.  Your insurance company may end up declining to pay a claim due to a material misrepresentation (having a driver you didn’t tell them about) and leave you stuck footing the bill for an accident. 

If not adding them is the route you’re led to go (which I only know of maybe 1-2 companies whose agents still may do this some) simply ask your agent to shoot you an email so that you have in writing something along the lines of…

           (agent) knows / was notified that                (your child) is driving but I advised that you could save money by not adding them, and any claims that could occur from your child will be covered no matter if it’s a small or large loss.”

**Please let us know if you actually find an agent that will do this!

 

    1. Reducing your liability limits to offset the cost increase.

 

First, please remember your auto liability limits are what protects your assets. If you have 25/50/25 or 50/100/50 limits know that if your child rear ends a $90,000 Lexus while making a Tik-Tok and driving, life could get rough financially. The last number in the coverage sequence (50/10/50) is your limit for property damage you do to others.  So if that car gets totaled you could be looking at being responsible for $40,000 – $65,000 (with the limits mentioned above)

Yes, let me restate that this additional amount (above your limit) is the amount of money that you will be personally responsible for, so when it comes down to an extra $15 – $20 per month please take this into consideration before settling for lower limits.  

If your agent has honestly never explained your limits and its fuzzy to you please get clarification, or yes you can call us and we don’t mind helping answer any questions… we do it all the time.

 

I actually increased our limits when my son turned 16. Yes, our insurance went up more than double by adding him and an additional car, but it was only about $15 / month more to increase our limits.

 

I recently quoted a good friend with a new teen driver. We increased their limits quite a bit, but also saved him over $50 / month switching to our agency. That’s a Win/Win!

 

    1. Having lower limits for your child on a different policy

 

Some carriers write each auto on its own policy and therefore you could change up the limits.  I have seen agents put lower liability limits on the policy the child is on to reduce the cost of the insurance. This just baffles me, who’s most at risk in your home to have an accident?  Mom and dad who have been driving for 20 years or the 16-year-old that has been driving for 20 minutes.

Having lower limits on the policy your child is on is just putting you at a much larger risk financially, and if your agent didn’t explain this to you then… well there’s a lot I could say but I won’t on here.

Once again, if your vehicles are written on separate policies who ever owns the vehicle (or is financially responsible) is still responsible for any damage done in excess of the limit on that vehicle, so make sure that you have consistent limits across your vehicles so that you don’t get caught up in a claim nightmare.

 


What Options are there to Save on Your Teen Driver?

  • Look at raising your deductibles to offset some of the cost.

Paying out of pocket for a deductible isn’t fun, but would you rather be out a little more in deductible or do you want to risk being financially responsible for $10,000, $20,000, or more if you chose to carry lower limits or lower them when you add a teen.  

    • If you get in an accident and you carry higher limits, typically your known out of pocket is an extra $250 to $500. So raising deductibles from $250 to $500 or from $500 to $1,000 can sting a little at the time of an accident but not nearly to the extent of not having enough coverage.  
    • Look at the prices of new cars today.  State minimum limits (25/50/25) won’t cover most new cars that are sold today or medical costs if you’re in a fairly serious accident.  50/100/50 limits are better but remember that the average SUV and trucks today are still more than that, not to mention if you were to have an accident with multiple cars.  

At least look into the costs of raising your deductibles as a first option.  

 

  • It’s probably a good time to check around and get multiple quotes.

If you are taking it on the chin in insurance costs… look around, especially if you haven’t shopped it in several years.  Maybe you’ve put it off because you know it’s best to get 4 -5 quotes but dread reaching out to 4 – 5 agents and spending the time going through the same process with each one.

Consider reaching out to an agent (wink, wink) that has 6-7 preferred insurance companies for home, auto, & toys and can get you the multiple quotes you want but only taking 10-15 minutes because you only have to make 1 call

It honestly takes a lot less time these days to get multiple quotes than people realize.

 

If you’re ready to start looking, You can always…. START HERE FOR QUOTES

 


Youth Driver Resources

  1. Teach Your Teen to Drive without Driving Each Other Crazy
  2. Beginning Teen Drivers
  3. Understanding Teen Car Insurance Rates – Safeco Blog
  4. 10 Teen driving stats that might surprise you

 

#naturalstateins #comparechoosesave #teendriver